Thousands of people wore their red, white and green, and brought out their inner Italian in support of Desert Arc‘s 4th Annual Italian Festival this weekend in La Quinta.
Dozens of vendors, including the Valley’s favorite Italian eateries, served up treats like grilled peppers and sausage, tortellini and pizza.
“We’re here to raise money and funds for the nonprofit organization (Desert Arc) to keep it running and just celebrate Italian heritage,” says Brian Altman, Executive Chef at Castelli’s.
Mitch Blumberg, Desert Arc Vice President, explained the organization serves 600 adults who have developmental disabilities, like cerebral palsy, autism, Down’s syndrome and epilepsy. “We provide vocational services, and employment opportunities,” said Blumberg. “Our mission is to enhance the quality of life and create opportunities for people with disabilities.”
Mario’s Italian Cafe continued the tradition of free cannolis for a $1 donation to Desert Arc.
Miss Bella Italiana was also crowned, and people were kept busy watching meatball eating contests, dancing the Tarantella, and joining along in traditional Italian songs.
The Italian Festival is Desert Arc’s largest fundraiser of the year.